Iranian delegation visits Nimroz to discuss border problems

A high-ranking delegation from Iran met with Taliban officials in Nimroz province of Afghanistan to discuss issues around border tensions, human trafficking and drug smuggling.

Habibullah Elhan, head of information and culture directorate of the Taliban for Nimroz, told Amu TV that an Iranian delegation led by Mohammad Karami, Governor of Iran’s Sistan and Baluchistan province visited Nimroz on Sunday afternoon “to discuss ways to resolve issues at the Abreshum border [crossing].”

According to him, the Iranian official met with Najibullah Rafi, the Taliban’s governor for Nimroz province.

The two sides discussed ways to fight drug smuggling; prevent human trafficking and illegal migration; and resolve existing issues around trade at the Abreshum border.

“Fighting against drug and human trafficking is our priority and we have achievements in this regard. According to the directions of the leader (Mullah Haibatullah), smuggling of drugs and human trafficking has been utterly prohibited and we are trying to thwart this phenomenon,” Najibullah Rafi said.

He also called on the Iranian government to not mistreat Afghan refugees living in Iran.

Mohammad Karami, Governor of Iran’s Sistan wa Baluchistan, also emphasized the need for good relations between the two countries and pledged support in fighting drug smuggling and human trafficking.

The two sides also agreed to keep the border open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in order to allow for at least 600 commercial cargo trucks to cross the border daily.

The two governors signed a memorandum of understanding to this effect.

This comes as the smuggling of drugs from the Kang district of the Nimroz and human trafficking have dramatically increased following the takeover of the Taliban in August 2021 – which has become a lucrative source of income for traffickers and Taliban members in the province.

Meanwhile, recent border clashes also resulted in a slowdown of cross-border trade through Herat’s Islam Qala port.